Post-Culture War Conservatism

While the electoral outcome of Tuesday’s elections didn’t change much in the balance of power in Washington DC., several states approved ballot initiatives showing a cultural shift in America.

Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana, while Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana. Maine and Maryland voted to legalize same sex marriage while Minnesota voters did not outlaw it.  Maryland voters also approved an expansion of gambling. Lastly, Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator in Tammy Baldwin.

Mitt Romney carried none of these states on Tuesday night.

America has changed and the Republican Party suddenly has an identity crisis.  

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe said it best with, ” In many ways the country is becoming more libertarian.” Later in the segment, David Gregory followed with, “It’s about redefining conservatism.”

Make no mistake, there will be an opportunity for conservatives and Republicans to win the day. Do we honestly believe the Obama Justice Department will not be raiding the homes of citizens in Colorado and Washington? Of course he will

That reality gives conservatives and Republicans two choices. First, they can double down on the culture war and lambaste any response from the Obama Administration as timid. Or they could lambaste the Obama Administration for trampling on the 10th Amendment and the privacy of American citizens. The second path is the one back to the White House. 

Thankfully, some Republicans are ahead of the curve. Justin Amash, who was re-elected Tuesday night, and incoming freshmen like Kerry Bentevolio and Thomas Massie represent the new formula for the Republican Party. They are socially tolerant and fiscal hawks. They vote for the Constitution, and they respect the outcomes of our Federalist system. Republican leadership should look to these men as the future of the party. 

Some, like Rush Limbaugh, will not see the light. However, make no mistake, the path forward for conservatism and the Republican Party means embracing the libertarian wing of the Party and respecting Constitution, most especially the 10th Amendment. 

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